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Retail Stores Water Damage Recovery
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
In any type of business, recovery after a crisis involves activities, both short-term and long-term, that are necessary to continue business and return to normal operations. Having a well-developed strategy is critical to enable an orderly and timely recovery.
However, while restoring normal store operations is a priority for affected retailers, health and safety should be a top consideration as well. When re-opening a water-damaged retail store:
- Assess the area carefully before re-entering the store's premises.
- Watch out for damaged electrical wirings, uneven flooring and falling stock.
- Water flowing into the store may have caused heavy stock to shift, so watch out for falling objects.
Have a professional or the buildings facilities or maintenance personnel check the electrical service before turning the power on.
When it comes to water cleanup and restoration, it is best to leave these tasks to trained professionals who know the proper methods and applications of cleanup. They understand the adjustments that need to be done to environmental elements such as temperature and humidity to stop the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. Moreover, they are fully aware of the urgency of the situation and will arrive at the site usually in less than an hour, increasing the chances of restoring the store to its pre-loss condition.
What the Manager and Staff Can/Should Do
If there are no electrical hazards in the store, the staff can start basic cleanup by moving merchandise to an elevated place and then extracting as much water as they can while waiting for the professional cleanup team. Squeegees and sweepers can be used for this task.
If the store experiences flash flooding that has left front windows broken, the manager should see to it that the windows are boarded up immediately to protect the property against weather elements, looters and vandals. If the roof of the store is leaking, equipment and merchandise should be covered with plastic and use empty trash cans or buckets to collect dripping water.
The store manager or supervisor should record and document the incident and all costs incurred due to the water damage. Prompt action on the part of the store manager and staff will help reduce the cost and time needed for repairs, leading to quicker recovery.
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